The List

My crazy goal-tracking notebook.

Though I originally heard of the idea reading The Simple Dollar, the 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge was originally started by a website called the Day Zero Project. These are the instructions on their website:

The 101 Things in 1001 Days Challenge

Day Zero started out with the catchy challenge of completing 101 things in 1001 days. This has been enormously popular with tens of thousands of people getting involved and sharing their lists. We now offer many more types of challenges, but here are the original guidelines for the challenge:

The Challenge:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).

Why 1001 Days? 
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple challenges such as New Year’s resolutions or a ‘Bucket List’. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips, study semesters, or outdoor activities.

My list took me a few days to write at the end of June. I borrowed some of the ideas (especially the reading and movie suggestions) from the Simple Dollar post, and my goals were generally in the same categories as the other lists I’ve seen. Because I’m a bit of a dork, my list (which I track in an Evernote notebook) is actually color-coded, with green for financial goals, navy for writing, blue for my Paris Unraveled website, lavender for business, plum for academic and cultural, fuchsia for “other” personal goals, and pink for reading and film.

And, because I’m actually a HUGE dork, and I’ve been hiding it from you for all this time, I also have a size A4 Moleskein notebook to track my goals. Not only did I create my own monthly calendar in the first half of the book, numbering the days of the 1001 Goal Challenge, I have different color-coded pens to code in which project I’m going to work on for each day. After the calendar, I pasted in the list, and the rest of the book is for lists of things I’ve done to work towards the goal. For example, I have 3 pages numbered up to 143 to keep track of my guest blog posts for Paris Unraveled, and a page numbered up to 25 for the Movies I’ve Watched. Not to worry, I also keep a list of the best movies (according to a book my husband has, called The 1001 Best Films) in Evernote so I can access it on my iPhone when we run across a sale on DVDs. But I digress. Here’s the list:

  1. Successfully leave my current job (This is on the list because quitting a job is actually quite complicated in France, and for a while, it wasn’t clear that my boss was going to let me leave. Fortunately, he did).
  2. Make more in 1 year being self employed than I was making in 1 year at said job
  3. Eliminate $12k student loan debt ($11,988)
  4. Max out Roth IRA contributions for each year; if ineligible, put equivalent in taxable investment account
  5. Fully fund 2x Livret A (€15,300), LDD (€6,000) (special tax-free French savings accounts)
  6. Increase my net worth by 50% in 2012
  7. Increase my net worth by 50% in 2013
  8. Increase my net worth by 50% in 2014
  9. Buy a small studio apartment in Paris to rent out
  10. Have at least 50% of down payment for a house/apartment saved up
  11. Give at least €1.500 to charity
  12. Apply Dave Swensen’s asset allocation ratio to my investments
  13. Get life & disability insurance for me & Hamid
  14. Write twenty nonfiction pieces (besides Paris Unraveled) for publication (0/20)
  15. Finish my memoir about Laura – at least 75k words (currently: 34k/75k)
  16. Fully complete my book proposal for memoir
  17. Query agents for Laura memoir
  18. Attend writing workshop at Shakespeare & Co at least 30 times (0/30)
  19. Network with at least 3 writers living in Paris (0/3)
  20. Write 286 blog posts for Paris Unraveled (current: 11/286)
  21. Write 143 guest posts for Paris Unraveled (current: 1/143)
  22. Make a list of at least 50 top blogs and websites on Alltop for submitting guests posts (19/50)
  23. Write guide to each arrondissement in Paris (0/20)
  24. Write at least 8 new e-books for Amazon (0/8)
  25. Sell 5,000 e-books for Paris Unraveled (current (0/5,000)
  26. Reach 2,500 email subscribers to Paris Unraveled (best: 0/2,500)
  27. Reach 25,000 page views in one month at Paris Unraveled (best: 1,506/25,000)
  28. Reach 5,000 unique visitors in one month at Paris Unraveled (best: 698/5000)
  29. Get at least 5,000 Twitter followers for Paris Unraveled (150/5,000)
  30. Get at least 5 paid advertisers for website and newsletter (0/5)
  31. Organize at least 3 Paris Unraveled events, including Student Activities Fair (0/3)
  32. Write at least 25 additional emails for the Aweber newsletter (0/25)
  33. Host 3 webinars on studying abroad in Paris (0/3)
  34. Start a company in France
  35. Learn how to code a simple iPhone app
  36. Learn how to use Photoshop
  37. Learn how to use Indesign
  38. Learn how to take great photographs
  39. Make at least 15 websites for paying clients
  40. Make at least 3 free websites for charity / nonprofit organizations
  41. Make website for PLE awareness
  42. Create nonprofit fund in US for PLE
  43. Start a young entrepreneurs’ group in Paris with regular meetings
  44. Attend ApéroEntrepreneur at least 15 times (0/15)
  45. Attend H-France or Columbia Alumni Association gatherings at least 10 times (0/10)
  46. Pass 3 economics courses at MIT OpenCourse Ware (0/3)
  47. Develop series of 30 games for children learning English in France (0/30)
  48. Sell series of games for children learning English to a language publisher
  49. Get at least 30 paying clients for college essay writing / SAT prep classes (0/30)
  50. Finish Master’s degree in Anthropology at the EHESS
  51. Learn Italian
  52. Learn Spanish
  53. Visit at least 25 of the museums in Paris from the Office du Tourisme’s official list at least once (0/25)
  54. Visit all 17 monuments in Paris at least once (0/17)
  55. Visit every public park in Paris
  56. Go to see 6 plays or performances (0/6)
  57. Visit 15 cities/countries I haven’t been to before (0/15)
  58. Go out for Fête de la Musique, les Journées du Patrimoine, la Nuit des Musées every year (0/7)
  59. Visit at least 6 new departements / cities in France
  60. Stop eating McDonald’s
  61. Stop drinking soda
  62. Limit sugar in tea to 1g per cup (1 cube)
  63. Make a meal menu every week and use it for shopping/cooking
  64. Pack healthy lunch for Hamid 3/4 days per week
  65. Go to one nice restaurant per month (0/36)
  66. Learn how to make cinnamon raisin bread
  67. Learn to make couscous
  68. Try at least 15 new smoothie recipes (0/15)
  69. Run a 5k by the end of 2012
  70. Run a 10k by the end of 2013
  71. Learn to meditate
  72. Stop biting my nails
  73. Write a “to be read” letter to Hamid
  74. Make a notebook/folder with all of our account and password information & other important docs
  75. Get a small fireproof safe for important documents
  76. Make photo albums from my best digital pictures
  77. Get involved in a group at the American Church
  78. Get involved with the American Chamber of Commerce
  79. Do at least 6 interviews for the Columbia admissions committee (0/6)
  80. Sing a solo with Voices
  81. Learn to breathe properly for singing
  82. Find at least 8 concerts for Voices (0/8)
  83. Learn to play 10 recognizable songs on the piano (0/10)
  84. Learn how to play at least 3 songs with handbells (0/3)
  85. Get vet & cat passport for Artemis
  86. Get French resident card
  87. Learn to drive a stick shift
  88. Get my French driver’s license
  89. Successfully grow tulips, sunflowers, and a mint plant (0/3)
  90. Go through the rest of my stuff in Braintree & sell/donate/repatriate
  91. Read the complete Bible and Koran
  92. Read 10 of the National Book Award winners in fiction (1/10)
  93. Read 10 of the Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction (0/10)
  94. Read 10 of the Modern Library’s 100 Best Nonfiction (0/10)
  95. Read 10 of Shakespeare’s plays that I haven’t read yet (0/10)
  96. Read 25 biographies (0/25)
  97. Read 10 books on copywriting and marketing and apply the lessons to my persuasive writing (0/10)
  98. Read 10 books on business and finance (0/10)
  99. Read 5 books on productivity/systems (0/5)
  100. Watch 25 professionally produced documentaries (0/25)
  101. Watch 25 of the top films ever made per 1001 Best Films List (4/25)


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